Unfortunately, Virtual PC required a lot of system resources to perform adequately at best. Additionally, Virtual PC did not support all Windows features, including some Windows-based graphic features and driver support.
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Parallels is a virtualization technology, requiring its own system resources processor, memory, video ram for the application before allocating resources to the actual virtual machine. Parallels offered improved performance of Windows virtualization overall.
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Parallels continues to build a reliable product, for a price. Around the same time, several competitors began releasing virtualization software. Today, open-source can be just as good if not better than paid products. Open Source support is often highly acclaimed because of the large audience and loyalty base.
5 Ways to Run Windows Software on a Mac
Apple released their own free method called Boot Camp to install Windows on a separate hard drive or partition. Virtual Box developed by Oracle, is completely free and offers the same, if not more, options than Parallels Desktop. In order to install Windows, you are required to purchase and install a valid Windows license key. Virtualization software requires updates to keep up with compatibility of the host Operating Systems.
Run Windows or Windows programs on your Mac
In addition, you may need several Windows components to be installed in order to run a single piece of software in your virtualized environment. Net, Flash, Java, etc.
Sometimes in order to receive support, you must pay monthly or annually. In the age of free and open source, consumers and developers found ways to run Windows-based programs inside the Mac X Unix based Kernel. If you just want to run a Windows desktop application alongside your Mac applications, a virtual machine will probably be ideal. On the other hand, if you want to play the latest Windows games on your Mac, Boot Camp will be ideal. Essentially, Wine is an attempt to rewrite the Windows code that applications depend on so they can run on other operating systems.
This means that Wine is nowhere near perfect. Nevertheless, Wine is one way to try running Windows applications on a Mac. It uses the open-source Wine code to accomplish this, but CrossOver provides a nice graphical interface and focuses on officially supporting popular programs. CodeWeavers contributes their improvements back to the open-source Wine project, so paying for CrossOver Mac also helps the Wine project itself. Most people will probably be happiest going for a virtual machine program and a Windows license.
Boot Camp may still be a better solution for that.
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